And let’s face it, stories involving poets tend to be hokey or, worse, excruciatingly literary. Maybe the spires of libraries rise darkly in the gloaming; maybe bookish amour unfolds amid bosomy fields laden with the fleeting fruits of summer. At best, the author follows the course Stephen King takes in “The Tommyknockers” and skims over his protagonist’s occupation in order to concentrate on the perilous effects of buried alien spacecraft.
Yet somehow Nicholson Baker has written a novel about poetry that’s actually about poetry — and that is also startlingly perceptive and ardent, both as a work of fiction and as a representation of the kind of thinking that poetry readers do.
I also like this quote about The New Yorker and poetry:
The New Yorker is a terrific magazine, but placing a poem there is like finding a hundred bucks in an old coat pocket: it’s great, but you can’t build your world around it. You build your world around what’s there for you on a daily basis, which for poets, famous or otherwise, means literary journals.
So The Anthologist is moved up a few notched on the towering TBR pile!